Next week marks the official start of the Beijing Olympics, but the USA men's basketball team is playing some exhibition games there right now. If the most recent game against Turkey is any indication, here's what hoops fans can expect from Team America:
- A totally logical starting lineup of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and. . . Jason Kidd. That's right. On a team that features Deron Williams AND Chris Paul, Coach K is starting Jason Kidd at point guard. Apparently Bob Cousy and Nate Archibald were unavailable for duty.
- Improved shooting. FG% is a bit irrelevant in an exhibition game against the Turks, but Team USA did shoot 81% from the line and 43% from beyond the arc. Pretty solid numbers and definitely an improvement over past Olympic squads.
- Somewhat limited minutes for our Jazz men. Deron played 20 minutes last night (I guess Coach K woke up halfway through the game and realized that Jason Kidd is 35 and terrible) and the Booze got 10. Carlos's minutes could improve if we don't hit the boards hard (no player had more than 8 last night).
- Kobe Bryant whining about his minutes, lack of shots, and failure to get calls from the international refs. Actually, that didn't happen last night -- it's just a prediction of the future.